TIER is a research group at the University of California at Berkeley, investigating the design and deployment of new technologies for emerging regions.
We aim to address the challenges in bringing the Information Technology revolution to the masses of the developing regions of the world. Historically, most projects that aim to do this rely on technology that was developed for the affluent world, but these imported technologies fail to address key challenges in cost, deployment, power consumption, and support for semi- and illiterate users.
TIER focuses on developing a hardware/software infrastructure explicitly designed for the physical, political and economic realities of developing areas. Our work builds on existing research at Berkeley and elsewhere, but also faces a number of new technical and organizational challenges. Our projects address these challenges with novel technology, while validating the impact through real-world deployments. We also aim to provide set of guidelines and techniques that can be then used by corporations or the government to enable solutions that are currently intractable.
Currently, our key projects are in rural cellular access, rural electrification, and the Mezuri platform for development intervention data. This is a multi-disciplinary group that includes both technologists and social scientists and real deployments to ensure that the work seeks real-world solutions. Primary funding comes from USAID and the Blum Center for Developing Economies through the Development Impact Laboratory and Sustainable Development Solutions projects, with additional support from the Phillippine-California Advanced Research Institutes Project.
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